Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) has quickly become a necessity on every jobsite. Formulated to reduce vehicle emissions, the fluid works by treating exhaust gases after they have left the engine. With the importance of DEF fluid projected to increase, follow these tips on proper use to get the most out of your equipment.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is made from a mixture of purified water and urea. The formula is stable, colorless, non-toxic, and similar to baking soda in its alkalinity (pH). It is not a fuel, but it is used to reduce the level of nitrogen oxides in the exhaust to meet emissions control standards.
In the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, DEF is injected into the exhaust. It converts the NO2 into nitrogen gas and water vapor, which are harmless components of air.
The ideal temperature range for storing DEF is between 32°F and 86°F, and its average shelf life is 3 years. Keep DEF out of direct sunlight, and do not store it in temperatures below 32°F. Because of its alkalinity, DEF fluid can cause oxidization in the same way that oxygen rusts raw steel, so it needs to be stored in plastic or stainless steel containers.
What to know when filling your DEF tank
When to refill the tank
Always consult your operator's manual.